Dilshan Thambawita – MBA, Business Administration (Marketing), 2020


What inspired you to take the course that you did?
I embarked on an MBA at the University of Bedfordshire as I had recently been promoted to a management position in my company. As I was coming from a technical background, I felt that the MBA would allow me to gain valuable management skills, thus ensuring that I could develop and progress my new role.

Why did you choose to study at the University of Bedfordshire?
I chose the University as it was ranked one of the highest and most prestigious business schools in the UK.

Tell us a little about yourself and what you have been doing since graduating?
I am a technical enthusiast interested in gaining knowledge and exploring new areas of development. Since graduating, I have continued to work at my current company in a management capacity and have been able to effectively put my MBA toolkit into good use by not only improving my productivity but also improving the creativity and productivity of my colleagues, which is bound to push me further in my career path.

What is your current role and how has your career developed?
I am currently heading the software development department in my company and the MBA has provided me with many practical scenarios that can be applied in the workplace. I began my career as a software developer in 2004 and steadily climbed the career ladder in the technology track, reaching the top position of a software architect in 2014. However, the subject of management was a passion that I wished to pursue since I had completed my London Ordinary Level and Advance Level in the Commerce stream. Therefore, I embarked on an MBA at Bedfordshire and was promoted to head the Software Engineering division, where I have managed to apply many management theories such as creative problem solving and mentoring, both areas that were part of the curriculum in the MBA.

What is the most rewarding aspect of your current role?
The most rewarding aspect of my role is the fact that I can mentor and guide my colleagues to achieve the very best in their careers. Since completing my MBA, I have gained a wealth of experience on effectively managing and communicating with my colleagues. I have been able to apply several motivation theories that I learned during the MBA, which has  resulted in not only a reduction in attrition at my company but also lifted the spirits of my colleagues. Furthermore, helping colleagues resolve workplace challenges by helping them go through the creative problem solving process has also motivated them to be innovative and try out unique solutions to problems they are facing. This has both pleased the clients we were dealing with and increased the productivity of my colleagues.

What is your most memorable achievement to date?
My most memorable achievement is being awarded a first class BSc (Hons) in Information Systems from Manchester Metropolitan University, UK in 2004.

How did your time at the University of Bedfordshire help?
My time at the University helped me learn many management concepts that I can practically apply within my role and I am able to bring many process improvements into the workplace. Creative problem solving has improved creativity and I can now assist the IT department as well as being able to contribute throughout the entire value chain of my company such as operations, HR, Quality Assurance and finance.

What are your best memories of the University?
One of the best memories was the management practice unit, airline simulation, where we had to manage a regional airline. My team were awarded 1st place in the class. Another good memory was getting 82 marks for the “Marketing and Digital Communications” assignment, which was a highest marks in the batch.

What are you aspirations for the future?
I plan to progress further on the career ladder in my current place of work and also have plans of starting my own business. Since I am currently working in the Information Technology industry, I wish to start a company that offers software development services to local and international customers. The MBA has given me the knowledge on many functions required to start and manage a business, and I am confident that I will be able to develop feasible strategic, marketing, finance, operational and HR strategies that will not only help me to build a profitable and sustainable business but also help to foster a business environment with satisfied employees, customers and suppliers.

What advice would you like to share with current students or recent graduates?
My advice would be to never give up even when assignments appear impossible to complete. The advantage with the UoB MBA is that you are given another opportunity to pass an assessment should you fail on the first attempt. Therefore, it is an ideal opportunity for you to learn from your mistakes, do better and end up with a postgraduate qualification from an established university. Remember that with perseverance you will succeed!

What 5 people would you invite to a dinner party- they can be living or dead?
Abraham Lincoln, Rosa Parks, Jeff Bezos, Nelson Mandela, Albert Einstein.

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